Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and 3G

Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and cellular 3G are the main technologies capable of broadcasting wireless data at broadband speeds to consumer devices. Each technology has its benefits and challenges, but ultimate adoption will vary greatly depending on the region of the world they are deployed, according to In-Stat, a high-tech market research firm.

For example, in developed regions of the world, such as the US and Europe, Wi-Fi has been widely deployed as a hot-spot and wide-area mesh solution by local governments, colleges, and others. On the other hand, WiMAX is being set up to be both a fixed wireless and mobile access solution that will compete with cellular 3G.

In-Stat sees the technologies both co-existing and competing. Each technology comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.

In-Stat found the following in their research:

  • 3G is commonplace in developed countries and is starting to appear in developing regions
  • The more developed the region, the more important it is for WiMAX to be mobile
  • Other technologies, such as 802.20, have potential to play a role in future, but have a long way to go to achieve that potential

The research, “3G, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and Others Battle for Wireless Supremacy“, covers the market for wireless data broadcasting via 3G, Wi-Fi and WiMAX. It examines the worldwide market for services and deployments for these technologies. It contains forecasts for hotspot deployments, WiMAX subscribers, and Voice over WiMAX through 2011. The research also compares and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of each technology. The price is $3,495 (US).